Premier League Preview: West Ham United vs. Chelsea
- West Ham has only won once in the PL since Christmas (W1, D5, L4)
- Chelsea has kept four straight clean sheets against the Hammers
- Mourinho has never lost in the league to West Ham (W6, D1)
West Ham United hosts league-leaders Chelsea in a London derby as two teams trending in opposite directions meet at Upton Park today. You can watch the match live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN or live online via Live Extra.
The Hammers opened their season strong, but have won just once in the league since Christmas, dropping from fourth the ninth on the table. Meanwhile, if all things go Chelsea’s way today, they could go to sleep with an eight point lead and a game in hand on the rest of the league.
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Sam Allardyce has seen his side go from battling for a top-four spot around Boxing Day, to struggling to stay in the top half of the table come March. The Hammers are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace, and haven’t won in the league since January 18th. Despite the drop in form, West Ham has gotten some solid results in draws with Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham. Today, they will need the full support of a rowdy Upton Park to try and steal points from Chelsea.
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Chelsea didn’t play a Premier League game over the weekend, as the Blues defeated Tottenham in the Capital One Cup Final on Sunday. The 2-0 victory gave Jose Mourinho his first trophy during his second spell at Chelsea, and the manager is hoping it is just the first of many to come. Mourinho has said he plans to rotate some players following the Cup win, so if there’s any time for West Ham to pounce, it’s today.
What they’re saying
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce on Chelsea: “I think Jose’s side rarely slip up that way, that’s why they’re so good. The demand on the Chelsea players is huge, from the manager but also the pressure on the manager. They’re not allowed to be off or not at their best, that is the demand that Jose puts on his players.”
Chelsea midfielder Ramires on the London derby: “I know there is a big rivalry between the supporters and it’s a classic fixture, a big London derby, but it’s the players on the pitch who decide the outcome of the game. Their fans can roar and apply the pressure on us, but we have a good record there, I don’t remember too many defeats. We feel comfortable and we’re looking forward to it.”
Expect a sell-out crowd and for Upton Park to be buzzing tonight, using the home-field advantage to try and will West Ham to a win. Unfortunately for the Hammers, they are facing a Chelsea side with a trophy on the mantle and looking to add to that collection. West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea.